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Puckohue

Family details of the Warlords

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I'm trying to determine who among the Gamemaster Characters are the most obvious rivals to the hands of the heiresses. Are there anywhere any clues as to who among the Barons etc. are already married and who might be looking to win, for example, the hand of young Lady Jenna?

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I don't think there is much is anything listed. Generally speaking it would probably be someone of high station who wants the dowry and/or a better relation with the Earl. You could probably justify any one of at least Bannerette ran, preferably higher, who isn't from Levcomagus. Are you looking for a rival for a PK to compete with, or some NPK rivlas to compete against each other?

Most of the other heiresses are within reach of vassal knights, although some would be more difficult to achieve than others, and could still be pursued by those of higher station. 

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There is no such information, no. There are some indications of age in the case of some of the barons, especially Dukes and Counts, but for the vast majority of them, nothing was nailed down. Most of them are probably already married, but given how young Jenna is during Uther Period, they might be trying to fix her up with their own son. After all, Jenna's dowry is generous enough to make her very worthy of being pursued by Barons and/or Baronial heir. No one of lesser stature should even bother, unless they are like Uther's best buddy, and even then, Uther would be more likely to fix the guy up with someone else than to twist Roderick's arm over Jenna.

Marrying even an 'ordinary' heiress is very, very difficult. If the father is still alive, his goal is to marry her up as high as possible, which tends to mean going after estate holders, bannerets and minor barons (and their heirs, of course). A mere normal vassal knight is not as good a deal for him: would you rather have your grandchildren being heirs to an estate holder or to a 1-manor vassal knight? If the father is dead, then it is the liege lord who controls who the heiress will marry, and he has a loooong list of deserving household knights to reward, too. People who have been with him, 24/7, for the last twenty years, through thick and thin. The PKs will need to really distinguish themselves to make up for that gap both in service time & camaraderie.

And just to make sure I make my main point crystal clear: MARRYING AN HEIRESS IS NOT THE DEFAULT!

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I agree with Morien on this one. Marrying heiresses is not the default and should be hard. As marriage is a political game during these days, women with land were extremely expensive. In a way you give away some control of your lands as Lord to another and thus you would want something in return. This could either be rewarded and extremely loyal household knight, who has proven himself multiple times or the marriage may get him access to more troops and maybe an ally.

In my game no PKs wished to pursue Lady Jenna. During the Anarchy phase they married her to the young praetor of Dorset. Thus solidifying their bond with him. This helped them to create a sort of alliance between them. Also Jagent and later Silchester joined the alliance. They managed to keep Cornwall out of Jagent as a result. 

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15 hours ago, Morien said:

MARRYING AN HEIRESS IS NOT THE DEFAULT!

This should be in even larger font.

One of the Pendragon campaign goals is to get and keep an Heir.  Many gm's gloss over this aspect of the game thinking only of it during the winter phase, or during court scenes where a PK wants to utilize his lustful/chaste trait.  A good gm should take time to plan this aspect out. Believe me, the players will appreciate it when they realize that the target of their attentions appears to be already set down on paper, rather than just created on the fly.  Of course, having the 'dream' girl as a target would be a welcome choice as well.

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4 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

One of the Pendragon campaign goals is to get and keep an Heir. 

Amen. In most of my campaign the PKs are concerned/obsessed with just getting a heir to continue the family line. Try to wed an heiress, any heiress, is something the PKs save until after they have a couple of sons.

Edited by Atgxtg

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On 2/20/2019 at 6:17 PM, Atgxtg said:

Amen. In most of my campaign the PKs are concerned/obsessed with just getting a heir to continue the family line. Try to wed an heiress, any heiress, is something the PKs save until after they have a couple of sons.

Yeah, marry early and get some heirs of your own... Don't worry about heiresses yet.

In fact, my advice would be to forget about marrying an heiress yourself. Instead, aim to arrange a match for your eldest son. The advantages of this approach:

1.) You have, hopefully, 20 years worth of Glory, Favors, and relationship-building with your Liege and any potential heiresses' fathers. You can cash those in.

2.) This way, your next character (eldest son) will get the heiress' manor by the right of marriage. If you'd marry the heiress yourself, then the manor would go down to HER eldest son with you, i.e., starting a cadet branch rather than increasing the stature of the main branch. (Granted, this is not necessarily a bad thing.)

3.) You can marry early and get those heirs and spares, rather than chase the heiresses yourself, delaying your dynastic aspirations for years.

4.) Arranged marriages were the norm. Also, this allows your next character to marry 'right away', once he is knighted, and start having children of his own.

This way, you have a healthy dynasty to continue after you, and if you don't manage to live long enough to get the heiress for your son, then you wouldn't have lived long enough to get one for yourself, either.

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Good points!  And one that most players don't think of. They think they want their present PK to marry the heiress. Of course, that is not necessarily bad in and of itself.  The powers that be could decide your most hated rival/enemy is the one to marry her instead.

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14 minutes ago, Morien said:

Yeah, marry early and get some heirs of your own... Don't worry about heiresses yet.

In fact, my advice would be to forget about marrying an heiress yourself. Instead, aim to arrange a match for your eldest son.

Yes, definitely good advice! One of the Pks in my campaign might run into reason 2A. He married a heiress (one manor but with a little extra income), she didn't have any heires, but he had two sons from his first wife. She is willing to adopt his sons to help smooth over inheritance for him, but  now he has to worry about what happens should he have a third son with her-as that son might bump the elder two.

 

 

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47 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Yes, definitely good advice! One of the Pks in my campaign might run into reason 2A. He married a heiress (one manor but with a little extra income), she didn't have any heires, but he had two sons from his first wife. She is willing to adopt his sons to help smooth over inheritance for him, but  now he has to worry about what happens should he have a third son with her-as that son might bump the elder two.

Not only that. The liege has to approve the 'adoption', and he has a definite interest in not approving it unless the PK is in favor. After all, the manor might default back to the liege. Also, it is possible that there are uncles and cousins of the heiress who would also like to make a claim for the manor by the right of their blood, if the heiress dies without children of her own.

I admit that I don't quite understand why the heiress would be so eager to hand over the inheritance of any of her future children, though? Even if she gets daughters, surely she would rather see her own children get the manor, become heiresses, and marry well? And yes, her daughters would inherit her manor, not those two stepsons, who have no bloodclaim whatsoever on her manor.

If she adopts the stepsons, then things become much, much more convoluted. I admit that I don't know any historical medieval cases off the top of my head where this worked out... But I seem to recall that your game is actually set closer to the Roman Era, right? Then the adoption might not be a big deal; Romans did it all the time. Although it was the Pater Familias who did the adopting, and the adoptee became a member of that second family, leaving his original family... Nor were the Classical Romans feudal; the manor would count as her private property so she could just will it to whomever. It is clear this is not how landownership works in Uther's time, though. In the end, it is a big mess for you to sort out as the GM! Much easier if she gets pregnant and doesn't adopt! :P

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1 hour ago, Morien said:

Not only that. The liege has to approve the 'adoption', and he has a definite interest in not approving it unless the PK is in favor. After all, the manor might default back to the liege. Also, it is possible that there are uncles and cousins of the heiress who would also like to make a claim for the manor by the right of their blood, if the heiress dies without children of her own.

Definitely.  The plan is for the knight to distingiush himself further in his lord's service in the hope that the Earl will smooth all this over.

1 hour ago, Morien said:

I admit that I don't quite understand why the heiress would be so eager to hand over the inheritance of any of her future children, though? Even if she gets daughters, surely she would rather see her own children get the manor, become heiresses, and marry well? And yes, her daughters would inherit her manor, not those two stepsons, who have no bloodclaim whatsoever on her manor.

Well, the heiress in question doesn't have any children. Her husband died in the wars before he had any children. So there is no one else to contest it. Had there been daughters things could have been a lot more tricky. The PK is actually hesitant about having children becuase of the can of worms it open up. 

1 hour ago, Morien said:

If she adopts the stepsons, then things become much, much more convoluted. I admit that I don't know any historical medieval cases off the top of my head where this worked out... But I seem to recall that your game is actually set closer to the Roman Era, right? Then the adoption might not be a big deal; Romans did it all the time. Although it was the Pater Familias who did the adopting, and the adoptee became a member of that second family, leaving his original family... Nor were the Classical Romans feudal; the manor would count as her private property so she could just will it to whomever. It is clear this is not how landownership works in Uther's time, though. In the end, it is a big mess for you to sort out as the GM! Much easier if she gets pregnant and doesn't adopt! :P

Yeah, I started at 410, and the PK got (re)married in 419. Yes it can get very convoluted. Historically these kind of things did happen and the end result wasn't always according to the "rules". It often depending on just who was involved their status, power and what the liege lord wanted. In this case, all the parties involved currently want the same thing, but children could change that. Knowing the non-player wife the way I do, she'd probably use it as leverage to get any offspring a good match. She's already used to to get the PK to knight and maintain her husband's squire, who had been left in a spot. 

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On 2/19/2019 at 8:49 PM, Morien said:

There is no such information, no. There are some indications of age in the case of some of the barons, especially Dukes and Counts, but for the vast majority of them, nothing was nailed down.

Thanks for answering my question. I guess I'll have to wing it.

As I'm new to Pendragon I'm afraid I'll come up with something that is later contradicted by the GPC or other game materials.

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36 minutes ago, Puckohue said:

Thanks for answering my question. I guess I'll have to wing it.

As I'm new to Pendragon I'm afraid I'll come up with something that is later contradicted by the GPC or other game materials.

You are quite welcome. Besides, it is your campaign. If something later contradicts what you have established, your campaign consistency should be the key. Like Greg was fond of saying: Your Pendragon WILL Vary.

Just as an example:

In our first campaign, Robert was killed in the Roman War, and his son was assassinated in a tournament in early Romance, and the grandson died as a baby. This left Robert's daughter, also named Jenna, as the heiress of Salisbury. As a major heiress, her hand was pursued by such worthies as Agravaine and Mordred, and Arthur dumped the decision to the Salisbury knights: which one would they rather have as their liege lord? This led to the immortal words of one of the PKs, as a rationale why he voted for Agravaine: "If we choose Agravaine, Mordred will probably not be too pissed off about it, but if we choose Mordred, Agravaine will never forgive us."

Agravaine's & Jenna's (eventually unhappy) marriage and the death of all of their three sons in the Yellow Plague were major drivers for the big plot for the rest of the storyline. Never happened in GPC, but made the campaign oh so much more interesting, as the PKs were very much mixed up in the whole De Gales - Orkney feud. Agravaine's love affair with a player-character lady was arguably the reason why the Round Table split: Jenna found out and eventually went public with it, and had Guinever's support. This made Agravaine Guinever's mortal enemy (whereas before, the Orkneys had been strong supporters of the (barren) Queen, as Gawaine was the heir), and when the opportunity came to catch Guinever herself in an adultery with Lancelot, Agravaine leapt at the chance, leading to the splitting of the Round Table. Oh, as an aside, in this campaign, Mordred was never revealed as Arthur's son, and it was debatable how much of a 'baddie' he was. A more sympathetic portrayal of Mordred, if you will.

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5 hours ago, Puckohue said:

Thanks for answering my question. I guess I'll have to wing it.

As I'm new to Pendragon I'm afraid I'll come up with something that is later contradicted by the GPC or other game materials.

Yeah, don't worry too much about contradicting things. We're just cautioning you as to the difficulty of a low ranking PK in marring the richest heiress in the county. Basically he shouldn't get her unless he brings something special to the marriage, and because the Earl wants him to marry his daughter.It's not like today where a daughter can pretty much marry whoever she wants against her parents wishes. In Pendragon, it's the Earl who needs to be pleased with the arrangement.Sometimes us modern folk, raise to believe in ideal such as equality often overlook the way feudal society works.

For example, in one of my campaigns, a new Player, encounter a young King Lot, right before a bad battle, who then proceeded to take charge of the situation. When the player, annyoed as the bossiness of this guy,, asked "Who died and made you the boss?", Lot mentioned his father, the King. The PK fell back into line.

The same player ran into Lot again a year or two later, and while discussing how to face off against an even more ferocious threat (I think it was a large giant), the player dropped a line about "we're all created equal" or some such. Lot stopped and stared at the PK for a few seconds before busting out laughing, at such an "obvious falsehood". Lot was a KIng, the PK was a knight, and the footmen were peasants! There were about an unequal as one could get.

Lot burst out laughing, patted the Knight on his back, and commended him for his courage. Where everyone else was "concered" about fighting a huge giant, the PK was cracking jokes! 

 

What we are trying to do is help you get the feel and tone of the setting. Pendragon's Britain isn't like a typical Fantasy World where people act like modern day people, but in a low tech environment. 

 

 

 

 

 

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